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Further information: Demographics of Africa and Languages of Africa
The native ethnic groups in Africa number in the thousands, each generally having its own language (or dialect of a language) and culture. The ethnolinguistic groups include various Afro-Asiatic, Indo-European, Khoisan, Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan populations.
|Photo from Luba people|
For more details on this topic, see Demographics of Africa.
The official population count of the various ethnic groups in Africa has in some instances been controversial because certain groups believe populations are fixed to give other ethnicities numerical superiority (as in the case of Nigeria's Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo people). The following ethnic groups number 10 million people or more:
Luba in Democratic Republic of the Congo (ca. 15 million)
Mongo in Democratic Republic of the Congo (ca. 15 million)
Kongo in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola and Republic of the Congo (ca. 100 million)
Kanuri in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon (ca. 10 million)
|A Somali schoolgirl (from here)|
Oromo in Ethiopia (ca. 30 million)
Amhara in Ethiopia (ca. 25 million)
Somali in Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya (ca. 16-19 million)
Tigray-Tigrinya in Ethiopia and Eritrea (ca. 10 million)
Maghrebis in Maghreb (ca. 98 million)
Egyptians in Egypt (ca. 91 million)
Copt in Egypt and Sudan (ca. 40 million)
Berber in Mauritania, Morocco (including Western Sahara), Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya (ca. 30 million)
Hutu in Rwanda, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of Congo (ca. 15 million)
Chewa in Malawi and Zambia (ca. 15 million)
Luo in Uganda, Kenya, and Southern Sudan
Shona in Zimbabwe and Mozambique (ca. 15 million)
Zulu in South Africa (ca. 10 million)
|Zulu sangomas (diviners). From here.|
Fula in Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Chad, Sudan, Togo and Ivory Coast (ca. 40 million)
Ethnic groups of Rivers State in Nigeria
Yoruba in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone (ca. 40 million)
Hausa in Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Ghana, Cameroon, Chad and Sudan (ca. 35 million)
Igbo in Nigeria (ca. 32 million)
Mande peoples in The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Mauritania and Chad (ca. 30 million)
Akan in Ghana and Ivory Coast (ca. 20 million)
1996 map of the major ethnolinguistic groups of Africa, by the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division (substantially based on G.P. Murdock, Africa, its peoples and their cultural history, 1959). Color-coded are major 15 ethnolinguistic super-groups, as follows: Afro-Asiatic Hamitic (Berber, Cushitic) + Semitic (Ethiopian, Arabic) Hausa (Chadic) Niger Congo Bantu
"Guinean" (Volta-Niger, Kru)
"Western Bantoid" (Senegambian, Bak)
"Central Bantoid" (Gur)
"Eastern Bantoid" (Southern Bantoid) Mande Nilo-Saharan (unity doubtful) Nilotic Central Sudanic+Eastern Sudanic Kanuri Songhai
other Khoi-San (unity doubtful; Khoikhoi, San, Sandawe, Hadza) Malayo-Polynesian (Malagasy) Indo-European (Afrikaaner)
List of African populations: click here!
Onuah, Felix (29 December 2006). "Nigeria gives census result, avoids risky details". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
Lewis, Peter (2007). Growing Apart: Oil, Politics, and Economic Change in Indonesia and Nigeria. University of Michigan Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-472-06980-2. Retrieved 2008-11-23.
Suberu, Rotimi T. (2001). Federalism and Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria. US Institute of Peace Press. p. 154. ISBN 1-929223-28-5. Retrieved 2008-12-18.
"The World Factbook: Nigeria". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
"The World Factbook: Niger". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
"The World Factbook: Chad". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
Peter Austin, One Thousand Languages (2008), p. 75, books.google.com/books?isbn=0520255607:"Kanuri is a major Saharan language spoken in the Lake Chad Basin in the Borno area of northeastern Nigeria, as well as in Niger, Cameroon, and Chad (where the variety is known as Kanembul[)]."
"The World Factbook: Central African Republic". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
Stefan Goodwin, Africas Legacies Of Urbanization (2006),p. 191, books.google.com/books?isbn=0739133489:"...and further west the even more numerous Sara [western Central African Republic, southern Chad, and northern Cameroon."
Peoples of Africa: Burkina Faso-Comoros - Volume 2 (2001), p. 86, books.google.com/books?isbn=076147160X:"The Central African Republic is a land of many different peoples... The Sara (SAHR) live in the grain-growing lands of the north as well as across the border in Chad."
"The World Factbook: South Sudan". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
"The World Factbook: Sudan". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
Nigeria at CIA World Factbook: "Igbo 18%" out of a population of 177 million (2014 estimate)
Agence Nationale de la Statistique et de la Démographie. In Senegal alone, estimated figure for 2007 is 1,840,712.1
Gambia keep poor records of its ethnic minorities. Estimated Gambian figure is 31,900 (2006) Ethnologue.com
Joshua Project. "Yoruba". United States Center for World Mission. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
National African Language Resource Center. "Yoruba" (pdf). Indiana University. Retrieved March 3, 2014. "The World Factbook: Sudan". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2013-12-31.
|Orthodox Zulu (from here)|